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Poll: After His Latest Brutal Loss, Is It Time for BJ Penn to Retire?

(Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Click for full-size version.)

BJ Penn‘s 15-minute ass-kicking at the hands of Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 5 accomplished several things: Most importantly, it gave MacDonald a grand stage to introduce himself as one of the rulers of the welterweight division. (Established veterans and up-and-coming prospects alike are now calling him out to get attention for themselves.) The fight gave Penn the new record for total time spent in the Octagon — five hours, three minutes, and 51 seconds, surpassing Tito Ortiz — and helped sustain Penn’s own personal statistic of never being knocked down in the Octagon, a piece of trivia made even more astounding by the damage he was taking on Saturday.

The fight also meant that Penn’s six UFC appearances from 2010-2012 have resulted in only a single victory, his 21-second demolition of Matt Hughes at UFC 123. His last two fights (against MacDonald and Nick Diaz) were utterly lopsided, and before that, he was lucky to escape with a draw against Jon Fitch. As a welterweight, BJ Penn is no longer competitive with the best in the world. And like many legendary fighters, he’ll probably be the last person to realize it.

Will Penn take this latest whooping as a sign that it’s time to hang up the gloves for good? Here’s Dana White’s take on the subject, following the event:

He didn’t say it tonight but I think BJ is probably going to retire. I wouldn’t mind seeing that…B.J. is a warrior. Talk about a guy who doesn’t give up, doesn’t quit, and just keeps coming. I have so much respect for B.J. I always have, even through the good times and bad times. I‘d like to see him retire. He’s got plenty of money, he’s got a great family that loves him, he’s got babies, a beautiful wife…He has nothing left to prove to anybody, and everybody loves him. You heard the arena here tonight. I’d like to see B.J. retire.”

Keep in mind that Penn basically was retired until a simple call-out by Rory MacDonald changed his mind. If that’s all it takes to get Penn fired up, it’s possible that we haven’t seen the last of him. But I’m with Dana on this one — Penn can only hurt his legacy by returning to the cage against another top welterweight, and should step away from the sport before he crosses the line from beloved superstar to cautionary tale. (Just because a guy isn’t losing consciousness in every fight a la Chuck Liddell, doesn’t mean he’s safe from significant brain trauma. Penn’s freakish ability to remain upright and awake during his fights might actually be doing untold long-term damage to his health.)

So what do you think? Use the poll below, and hit us with your additional commentary in the comments section.

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  1. HandsofGold Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 07:39

    Just needs to fight at 55 and stop fighting these huge fighters. That is all.
  2. FilmDrunk Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 07:44

    I'd like to see him get a real coach and have a real game plan going into a fight before he retires. Failing that, yes, retire.
  3. RearNakedSpoon Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 07:47

    Now Edgar has vacated 155 I think Penn could try another title run and hopefully see how he does against Henderson. I don't think he can get the title but it could be interesting to see him try. The talk about being the prodigy and MMA is all about the little guy winning is what really needs to be retired.
  4. Pen Fifteen Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 07:53

    I heard the World Professional Swimming Pool Jumper-Outers league will be making a big pitch to sign BJ if he truly does retire from the UFC. BJ could instantly be a contender in the 40" division.
  5. The12ozCurls Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 07:58

    It's time for BJ to hang up the gloves. It was actually kind of hard to watch him take another beating because even early in round 1 when he was fresh, he had nothing to offer. 3 minutes into the first round he was already gassed and Bendo would put a beating on him at 155 because that guy has cardio for days. Thanks for the memories BJ and if he chooses to continue fighting, he is only subjecting himself to a future with Pugilistic Dementia.
  6. dipsetkilla316 Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 08:29

    Yes, it suck but i cant watch bj get beat up let that again. Myabe, and this is still a big maybe if he drops down to 155 like maybe a fx main event fight. Like maybe vs gray wen he get back. Because lets face it 155 bj is a monster, but is he was to loss that fight to that its over, but i dont think at thia point in his cereer hes thinking about dropping down. I mean look at rory vs bj it was like small middleweight vs a little bit above average size lightweight. Bj dosent need to fight guys like that especially, at this point in his cereer. If he does come back, an losses a 155 pound fight then its truly over
  7. rudedude Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 08:42

    Pen vs nate lol
  8. Goog Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:02

    Rory's already fighting for a title: Biggest Douche. He'll have a real fight on his hands with J Jones, but he's young and well on track. We get it, Rory. You like your butterscotch overcoat. These turds just refuse to accept that marketability is going to be their moneymaker. Fighting style is secondary. Joe Silva doesn't hear an arena full of boos, he hears the sound of falling ticket sales and ppv buys. So if these talented brats want to keep acting like the fans don't matter and it's not important, great. Claim your spot as the first fight on the main card and shut up. But I'm not dropping $60 on Jones, MacDonald, or any other pompous a-holes. Maybe I'm the minority. Now if Penn can fight the urge to have his mom sue someone over this and come back, I'd love to see it. He kinda won me over leading up to this one.
  9. amsterdamheavy Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:04

    I think BJ needs to go back down to lightweight where he has *always* been more competitive. He was only ever able to compete at welterweight because he was so good and everyone else was so...meh. FFS, he was giving up 20-25lbs EASY to the Waterboy, who could be fighting competitively at MW even now. He might have to fight at MW eventually so, it doesnt put BJ in a terrible light.
  10. jcv1986 Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:37

    Bj is a legend, but legends die. If he was to compete it should b at lightweight. Why is everyone against rory, I think in the past bj has been cockiest out of anyone. People can't accept the new breed of fighters have arrived ex. Rory,Jon,diaz' etc. Bj had his lime light and he might have taken advantage of it .
  11. smellypiratehooker Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:38

    @Goog Just curious, How was Rory being such a big douche? Saying that he was going to hurt BJ?? That is what every fighter tries to do when they step into a fight. Saying that he fights for himself and doesn't pander to the audience by constantly saying the old cliche line "if it wasn't for you I wouldn't be here??? I got news for ya, this isn't American Idol. He is there because he is a ferocious fighter, that shoots you straight. Also, your comparison to Jon Jones is just off the mark. One guy you have, telling it how it is, with refreshing honesty. The other, is a phoney hypocite that treats the fans like they are gullable tarts, hanging on he's next contrived lie. Rory may not give you that same validation that, "you are who he does it for" ,but he also doesn't come across as a sheep. I like the way seems almost annoyed by the other bullshit aspects of fighting and would just rather hurt people than answer politcally correct question like he is running for office, rather than breaking peoples bones and wills.
  12. Casa de los pantelones Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:41

    Goog, you're about 30 lbs off holmes. Bj suffers the same dilemma, as has been said, time and time aggression. And it just gets worse once he takes a few shots. It's like fighters just say ho hum and give up trying once they get tagged a few times. I've watched Bj since day 1, used to be decently aggressive...not anymore I guess. What did you think would happen when you stand around against a 20 year old who is bigger and stronger and more aggressive than's not rocket surgery broham.
  13. Deadpanda Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:44

    The BJ that we're seeing needs to retire. He doesn't have* to retire, by any means, he could pull a Dan Severn & beat the shit out of guys on the local circuit into his 50s but that's not what anyone wants to see. Anik mentioned that BJ was 'changing it all up' this time by bringing top talent to train with him... in ... Hawaii... Yes, BJ's comfort zone, the same place where he's 1/2 assed multiple training camps in the past. BJ needs to gtfo of Hawaii when he's training if he wants to contend for the title still. He'll never train as hard as the rest of these guys with a butler & luxury waiting for him at home; he needs to face adversity while training. BJ could probably physically contend in the UFC into his early 40s but his will isn't there anymore. He, himself, said he doesn't want to cut to 155 'eating a salad & then training for 6 hours.' BJ wants his legacy to come as easily as his naturally born talent did... we all have to grow up some time.
  14. blackboxmma Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:46

    Bj is a fat fuck who wont diet. He is tough and has crazy heart but he deserves to get his ass beat. Rory is a douche only because he is GSP's boy toy.
  15. RearNakedSpoon Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 10:01

    BJ talked so much shit before the fight including coming out of retirement to fight Rory after a flippant comment, demanding 3rd party drug tests, saying Rory is not worthy of a hype train BJ once rode. Meanwhile Rory is the douche by doing his talking inside the cage with vicious punctuations? Rory didn't finish or jump at a finish but I think that was the right choice because a TKO would not be as satisfying as hurting Penn for the full 15 minutes. As for Rory being above GSP already, I wouldn't say that yet because Rory took too many shots from a slow Penn.
  16. RB Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 10:02

    I get such a kick out of ppl complaining about Penn losing because "Rory was too big"... so he should be fighting against smaller guys, then? Like... let's see... how about Frankie Edgar? Penn nuthuggers will ALWAYS find an excuse for BJ, which is too bad, because it kind of tarnishes his great legacy. The man is a legend, and doesn't need these net-nannies making excuses for him at every turn.
  17. amsterdamheavy Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 10:05

    Penn lost because he got the shit kicked out of him. The extra 25 lbs of Waterboy didnt help teh situation. BJ didnt lose becase Rory was bigger. He fuckin lost because Rory was *better*.
  18. rudedude Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 10:23

    Bj should go down lw but only for fun fights like gomi or other fighters from his era
  19. rudedude Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 10:24

    Or retire
  20. Arastmaus Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 10:48

    BJ was good because he was rich... He came up back when most guys had to work a second job and make money to train, while all he had to do was collect his allowance and hit the gym. I'm glad he's over, I'm sick of his shitty attitude. He can take his "legendary" 16-11-2 record and go hide in Hawaii for the rest of his life.
  21. GrandShamrock Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 11:37

    Wow, Rory's bellybutton is the perfect circle we were all looking for!
  22. Goog Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 12:15

    Lemme clarify. Penn has acted like a whiney douche for a while. He's had some brilliant moments in the past, but overshadowed it all for a few years with his attitude and piling up some losses. Rory can fight, no doubt. He'll continue to do great. But look, it's already at a place where champs are refusing fights because ppv numbers will dip and opponents names "arent big enough". And like it or not, that's been dictating some of the cards the last few years. So if Rory keeps his current personality and interviews like he does, he won't be a guy fans are clamoring for. That will keep him out of fights he deserves. Ask Johnny Hendricks... who doesnt even get boo'd. Maybe Rory's not doing anything "wrong", but he's not doing a couple things right if he wants to call his shots in the UFC. It doesn't matter how much Dana calls him a killer. If he can't sell tickets on his name, it'll have an effect on him. And I'm not a Penn fan, he just came across more likable this past time and I didn't want him to get shot on the way to the cage like every other time.
  23. crappiefloper Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 12:49

    Being honest? Never thought the monicker," prodigy" ever fit, and "legend" is way to strong a term to throw around in the same sentence with bj penn Stay done. See ya on the grappling circuit
  24. Alan K Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 03:37

  25. Mr_Misanthropy Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 09:43

    BJ never had a chance in this fight. Rory is big enough and good enough that he could have kicked a 2006 Penn's ass in the same manner. I think BJ could fight at LW if he took it seriously enough to train hard for every fight, stay in shape, and fight more than once a year. I thought he arguably won the first fight with Edgar and the second one was pretty close too. It makes no sense for him to fight at WW.* * Unless he starts poppin' TRT. Hawaiian Hulk Punch!
  26. Mr_Misanthropy Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 11:08

    I think Roary should fight Klotschtick. Probably be a good fight.
  27. NinjaVanish Says:

    Mon, 12/10/12 - 11:28

    BJ has been overhyped for years. His cardio has always sucked, and he always gets outworked because he trains only with yes men. 16-11 and touted as a future hall of famer? What a crock of shit.
  28. Dagnut Says:

    Wed, 12/12/12 - 05:01

    Penn is a LW and a good one at that. Fighting big WW's and getting beat doesn't make him a bad fighter
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    Thu, 06/06/13 - 08:46

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